Last month we saw biggest series of kidnappings in recent history – within the span of two weeks, we witnessed two separate incidents where 40 odd seafarers got kidnapped for ransom.
It is a staggering amount. As an industry, we rarely see kidnapping numbers hit double digits. We’re used to pirates being tied down by the logistics of their operation. Hit & run tactics are usually done on small, agile vessels that can carry a small number of people.
The game is changing.
The attacks on the Nave Constellation and the Duke showcase one thing above all else. That pirates, are willing to adapt, and improvise in order to achieve their goals. We are dealing with a criminal element that is ruthless in its capacity – they cannot, and will not stop, regardless of the consequences.
Make no mistake, they cannot be fought using half-measures.
There’s a truth here that the maritime industry needs to accept; if you take your ships into West Africa without proper hardening measures in place, all you’re doing is playing Russian roulette with the lives of the people who depend on you for their safety and security.